What happened to the 80s pizza joint?

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, July 14, 2004, 6:13 PM | comments: 5

I was reading Masters of Doom today, which chronicles the lives of John Romero and John Carmack, two of the founders of id Software. In talking about their youth, Romero spent a lot of time going to pizza joints to play video games, because that's where the games were generally found.

This made me stop and think, where did these places all go? I can think of three that used to be in the area around my house growing up in Cleveland. I always looked forward to going to these place because if I could convince my parents to spot me a quarter, I'd get to play Pac-Man, or even better, Ms. Pac-Man. How awesome was that?

Now, it's rare to find a pizza place at all where you can go in, have a slice and play a few video games. Pizza is all about the big chains and delivery. Arcade games are harder to find outside of places like Dave & Busters. It's so odd that the era has come and gone.

The weird irony is that you can buy the Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga combination cabinets now in small, medium and cocktail versions. In fact, some are targeted for home use, without the coin slots.

Comments

Oaktree, July 14, 2004, 10:36 PM #

My hometown still has one, though their second location is more upscale. Jim's Pizza Box was the place to be when I was 10-13...early 90's. They STILL have Excitebike and Marble Madness cabs .... they totally rock!

CPLady, July 14, 2004, 11:31 PM #

We have Chuck E Cheese, and I think there are still one or two Major Magic's around. The pizza is so so, but there are video games and kiddie rides , and the one by our house even had skeeball the last time I was there.

At one time we had a Little Ceasar's pizza parlor with a few video games, but the big attraction was "sing along songs"...mostly those old ones from the 40's.

Stephanie, July 15, 2004, 12:51 PM #

Oh yeah....Spy Hunter and Uncle Al's pizza in Elyria with my dad...

gregleg, July 15, 2004, 10:36 PM #

There are plenty of good little pizza joints in Pittsburgh (Mineo's, Italian Village, and Rialto come to mind without even thinking about it -- the first doesn't even deliver, but makes the best damn pizza in the city. The other two will deliver to my house and have a few tables, not that I've had pizza lately :( ).

I know Italian Village on Forbes in SqHill has a video machine, but it's the bar puzzle kind, not the old school arcade games.

Alex, July 16, 2004, 3:59 AM #

The Pizza Hut near me has a Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man hybrid. :)

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